Road trips can be a nightmare for parents. When the drive begins, everything seems to be going fine, but once an hour or two passes, kids get antsy. If you have more than one child, you'll often find them bickering and arguing in the backseat.
Parents: Don't let your road trip be miserable.
You have so much at your fingertips that can help keep your kids occupied. Kids that are occupied fight less, they stay focused on another task and allow parents some sanity when driving.
But what can you do to keep the kids happy?
1. Play Acronym Games With License Plates
The open road can be very boring, and this is what will make your kids start to act out. Instead of trying to stay quiet the entire time, you can play license plate games. A game that is fun and will keep your children occupied includes:
Viewing license plates in front of you
Using the letters as acronyms
Asking the kids what the acronym stands for
For example, if a license plate has the letters "ILC," your child may scream out "I love candy," or "I like cats."
It's a simple game, but it also helps keep your child mentally stimulated during a car ride.
You can also play the fancy slug bug game, which requires a child to gently punch the arm of the person next to them and scream out "slug bug" when they see a Volkswagen Beetle.
2. Stream Movies and Television
Cartoons, movies and television shows have a way of entrancing children. When all else fails, you can use a tablet or smartphone, stream your child's favorite cartoon and keep him or her occupied for hours.
Google Play and the iTunes store also offer options for movies. YouTube has movie rentals, or you can find countless videos for the kids to watch.
If you're worried about your mobile data, you'll be able to use offline options for many of the streaming services offered. Simply download the content prior to getting on the road to be able to watch it without buffering or wasting data in the process.
Games work in the same way.
Hand your child a tablet filled with games, and you'll find that the games keep them occupied the entire time. It's the perfect option for teens that won't stop fighting in the backseat. Just make sure everyone has their own device or something of their own to do.
3. Prepare for the Trip With These Items
There are a lot of items that you can bring with you on the trip, and while this list isn't extensive, you'll find that these items can definitely help:
License plate checklist
Window markers (yes, they exist)
Notebooks or notepads
Dry erase board
Disposable camera or digital camera
The goal is to try and ease the boredom felt when stuck in the car for hours. A road trip can be exhaustive for parents, but kids also get tired and bored. I've used some of these very tips to help keep my sanity on road trips, but don't tell my niece and nephew that.